Mark Wadsworth has not been found to be anti-semitic, but to have brought the Labour Party into disrepute. He was in fact guilty of that. At a sensitive press launch, showcasing a very important report the Party was introducing, Wadsworth thought it appropriate to take the microphone in front of a massive media presence and launch a verbal attack on a Labour MP. Nothing Wadsworth said was anti-semitic, and I quite accept his assurance he had no idea that Smeeth was Jewish. Here was my analysis of the incident written on the day, which I believe has held up well. But Wadsworth’s notion that he was at an appropriate place and time to attack a Labour MP was, at the very least, extremely misguided.
In short, Wadsworth should have saved his justified complaint about the right wing infiltrator Ruth Smeeth’s co-ordination with the Daily Telegraph and pursued it by a more suitable avenue.
Equally, expulsion from the Party is an over the top reaction to Wadsworth’s rashness, and plainly is being done to placate the witch-hunt of “anti-Semites” which is the Blairites’ lead effort to undermine Corbyn.
The impression Wadsworth is “expelled for anti-Semitism” will now be allowed to stand, in the hope it will placate the Israeli lobby who marched 50 parliamentarians strong in a lynch mob to intimidate Wadsworth’s hearing. Corbyn seems to me to have gone down entirely the wrong path. You cannot sate the bloodlust of a witch-hunt by burning a few people you know are not really witches, in the hope the witchfinders will then get bored and go away. Caroline Lucas on Question Time last night, in her assertion that we must not be cowed into failure to criticise Israel and that anti-zionism does not equal anti-semitism, showed more political courage than the entire Labour Party leadership.
Watching that hatchet-faced Friends of Israel mob bear down on the Wadsworth hearing reminded me of the secretly taped meeting between Shai Masot of the Israeli Embassy and Joan Ryan MP of Labour Friends of Israel, where he told her he had over £1 million to give her to influence the Labour Party in Israel’s favour.
So Mark Wadsworth did bring the Labour Party into disrepute, but not nearly as much as Joan Ryan MP, and in about the same measure as every member of the lynch mob whose equally unnecessary intrusion on a party disciplinary hearing gave the media plenty of occasion for knocking copy. But do not expect natural justice to prevail in the UK’s distorted, propaganda-led politics of 2018.